Other People

by Martin Amis | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0140060065 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingNetstationwing of Coventry, West Midlands United Kingdom on 7/3/2004
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This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingNetstationwing from Coventry, West Midlands United Kingdom on Saturday, July 03, 2004
Like a ghost or a fugitive, Mary roams through London -- pursuing and pursued by memory and forgetting, by the compelling Amy Hide and the charming Mr. Wrong.

I really enjoyed this. The idea of total memory loss such as Mary has suffered has sometimes seemed appealing to me and Amis' exploration of the idea has its own charm. Certainly, with no preconceptions of the results of her actions Mary finds decision making surprisingly easy. Those results are not always pleasant, however!

A quick read, more of a novella than a novel, and recommended to anyone who enjoys thoughtful writing.

Journal Entry 2 by wingNetstationwing at on Monday, November 29, 2004

Released 15 yrs ago (11/30/2004 UTC) at



Trying to maintain my, as yet, undeserved reputation as a good 'picker' of books for others I've chosen this one for semioticghost.

Journal Entry 3 by Semioticghost from Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom on Friday, December 03, 2004
Received today - doubt you will sully your reputation as an accomplished picker of books - multiple evidence in favour so far! Thanks ever so much.

Journal Entry 4 by Semioticghost from Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom on Friday, January 14, 2005
Mary Lamb's Tale of Mystery and Alienation is set in a London after the event of her total amnesia. Her observations of Other People are astute and unsullied by prior knowledge. She meanders through London like a charmed automaton, aware, but not in control of her memory and her forgetting. Her deadly sins are different from those we know - her seven deadly sins are venality, paranoia, insecurity, excess, carnality, contempt, boredom.

The prose is stuniing in places:

"{Mary] might smash. I see her as a crystal glas that someone has taped too hard with his knife; she sings along her breaking line."

"In her face was all the relief of having no further to fall. The girl's good eye still held Mary - see? See? if seemed to say. I'm lost at last, lost."

Journal Entry 5 by Semioticghost at on Friday, January 14, 2005

Released 14 yrs ago (1/15/2005 UTC) at



To be released at the second Ipswich Bookcrossing meetup, either to other bookcrossers who might be there or for wild release in the town centre after the meetup. Maybe we can drum up a bit more support for bookcrossing in this lovely town!

Journal Entry 6 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Saturday, January 15, 2005
Thanks Esther...as always, a pleasure to meet you :)

Journal Entry 7 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Thursday, May 17, 2007
*includes spoiler*

Thanks to SemioticGhost for pushing this on me...I think that’s what happened, I’ve had it to-be-read for the longest time :(

Phew, where do start with this very clever, deep and noir urban fairytale. I must admit that I only think that I understand this book, its challenging, but wonderfully written with some staggering prose and descriptions of innocence, human weaknesses and depravity. So, in a nutshell, we all have a ‘dark side’, even if we don’t sink to the depths of Amy Hide, and probably conversely we all have a more childlike worldview (Mary Lamb). The clever pretext is that teenage Amy ‘goes bad’, is amost killed (by a violent partner?) and suffers a severe trauma losing not only her memory of people, events, herself, but also the names and functions of everyday things...clouds, telephones, differentiation of male, female, the young and the old...of course all the above could just be a dream, or part of psychotic episode! As she starts to re-learn the latter and recover snatches of the former, she gets inexorably drawn into London’s seedy and sad worlds of violence, drunkeness, depressing fecklessness and hopelessness of the poor in spirit, if not money. She meets a lot of 'Other People', more or less shades/gradations of the human psyche.

I was quite pleased with myself for spotting some of the simpler metaphors; the Policeman who guides Mary and eventually saves her is Prince (charming), the innocent Mary Lamb is another side of the personality of Amy Hide – but which is real, as with Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Hyde, they both are. The obvious shady ‘Mr Wrong’, how could he be ‘Mr Right’!

So, ‘Mary’ can’t re-write history, and her memory is not lost, just temporarily mislaid, too painful or embarrasing to cope with? And, despite the gloom, there is a positive outcome, and the possibility that one can reconcile the 2 (many?) parts of ones character, as Amy is forced to do, re-create herself as a better, more self-aware individual.

I would like to pass this on, but need to think carefully about who would appreciate it, unless anyone here has other ideas on where this book goes next?


Passed on to my young bro' in another attempt get him involved here! Will be on its way to Denver next week...and hopefully a journal and onward travel :)

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